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The marvels of Tuscany's mountains, parks and nature reserves
A map of protected areas

Climbing a path to a summit of the Apuan Alps, riding the bridleways of Monte Amiata or stepping inside the thick, numinous forests of Casentino: these are all experiences that leave a mark. The Tuscan mountains have something to offer every visitor, and once discovered, they remain in the heart forever.

Sport is by far the most popular mountain activity; and for energetic people, the choice is vast. Everything from trekking and horseriding to mountain-biking is on offer, as are climbing, paragliding and cave-exploration.

For those who instead prefer some quiet repose and a bit of time away from frantic everyday life, then a few gentle strolls through the medieval hilltowns cannot be passed up, nor can visits to the small churches and museums.

Traditional local dishes should be sampled too. It is difficult to credit the old peasant recipes until you taste them. One can also find shopkeepers, carpenters, artisans and craftsmen who still work with particular techniques passed down through the generations.

The Svizzera Pesciatina mountains
The Svizzera Pesciatina mountains

Nature is a precious gift, never to be taken lightly. Every step through the parks and natural reserves, following focused itineraries or educational activities, yields something new. Extraordinary plant life, hidden caves and breathtaking views are only some of the marvels that can be found on a mountain walk.

The region is full of green oases. Monte Amiata, the hot-hearted mountain with health-giving waters; the Apuan Alps, a wealth of white marble; and the Lunigiana, littered with historical hilltowns. Nor should we forget other earthly paradises, like the Pistoiese mountains, buried deep in the wilderness but still close to the most beautiful cities of art; Casentino, a mountain steeped in the spirituality of the hermits who once lived there; and the Garfagnana, full of tunnels and caves which invite you to see Tuscany from another angle.

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